History 416
United States, 1914-1950
KC Johnson

Mondays and Wednesdays, at 3.30pm, Room 517

This course will examine U.S. history from World War I through 1950. Topics include Woodrow Wilson and Wilsonianism; the United States in the two world wars; the interwar era; the New Deal; and the origins of the Cold War, both at home and abroad.

The website contains links to a variety of documents, all of which are required, that will be used throughout the term. The following books, which are required, can be purchased at Shakespeare; or online at amazon.com by following the links below:

  • Final Exam (DATE): 30%
  • Midterm Exam (October 24): 20%
  • Research Paper (10-12 pp.): 30%
  • Participation: 20%


August 29: Introduction

August 31: Progressivism

  • Cooper, Warrior and the Priest, pp. 69-142.

September 5: No class--Labor Day

September 7: Election of 1912

  • Cooper, Warrior and the Priest, pp. 143-228.
  • 1912 Election--popular and electoral vote

September 12: Wilsonian Agenda at Home

September 14: Origins of World War I

  • Map: pre-World War I alliance systems
  • Map: Balkan Wars

September 19: Wilsonian Agenda Abroad--QUIZ #1

September 21: Decision to Enter the War

September 26: US and World War I

September 28: League of Nations Fight

October 3: No class--college holiday

October 5: No class--college holiday

October 10: No class--college holiday

Tuesday, October 11: Postwar Constitutional Order

October 12: No class--college holiday

October 17: Postwar Economic Order

October 19: Election of 1924

October 24: Midterm

October 26: No class

October 31: US and the 1920s World

  • Parrish, Anxious Decades, pp. 135-238.
  • Map: membership in the League of Nations
  • Map: US interventionism in the Caribbean Basin

November 2: Great Depression and American Society

November 7: Origins of the New Deal--QUIZ #2

November 9: Good Neighbor Policy 

  • Brinkley, End of Reform, pp. 15-136.

November 14: Was the New Deal a Constitutional Revolution?

  • Parrish, Anxious Decades, pp. 364-430.

November 16: Origins of World War II

  • Map: Nazi expansion in Europe, 1938-1942
  • The Transformation of the German Electorate: 1928, 1930, 1933

November 21: Pearl Harbor 

  • Parrish, Anxious Decades, pp. 437-476.
  • Map: French and German battle plans, 1940
  • Map: the "hitch" at Sedan, 1940
  • Map: Main camps and killing sites, Nazi-occupied Europe
  • Map: Ghettoes in Nazi-occupied Europe, with sizes

November 23: US at War--QUIZ #3

November 28: Postwar Alternatives

November 30: Origins of the Cold War

December 5: Election of 1948

December 7: The Constitution and the National Security State

December 12: Korea

December 14: McCarthyism